There are two accommodation options available to international students – homestay arranged by Howick College or private arrangements made by the student’s parents or guardians (e.g. living with a parent or a relative). Students may have relatives or family friends in our community who wish to act in a mentoring capacity, e.g. by giving input into the selection of a homestay family or other important decisions.


Homestay, or living with a New Zealand family, is an excellent way to improve your English and learn about our culture. We expect our homestay families to welcome you as a member of their family. In return, we expect you to respect the rules and routines of their family. New Zealand is a multi-cultural country and our homestays reflect the diversity of cultures here.


The welfare of our students is our first consideration and parents can be assured that Howick College carefully chooses its homestay families. This includes a police check. Please note that the school draws from a wide area and it is not always possible to find a homestay within walking distance of the school, so bus travel may be required.


Homestay accommodation includes the following:

  • own bedroom with wardrobe/ storage and study desk
  • three meals per day
  • linen and bedding requirements.

Note: If students require Internet access, the provision of an extra phone line and all associated rental fees is the responsibility of the student. 





It is important to realise that family routines vary from country to country. It is the student’s responsibility to fit in with the family they stay with. There may be other children in the family and there may also be pets. Most New Zealand families do not have household help. Often homestay mothers have work commitments outside the home, so students are expected to help with household jobs, e.g. washing dishes and cleaning their own room. Of course, there are plenty of people in the school who can help you fit in. If there is a big problem, we can look at changing your homestay.


Homestay fees must be paid to Howick College in advance. In the case of students from China, Vietnam, India or Bangladesh, visa regulations require that the whole year’s homestay fees are paid with the tuition fee. The minimum payment for other countries is half a year’s payment, i.e. 24 weeks. If a student leaves a homestay, one week’s notice must be given or a week’s fee will be held in lieu.


Sometimes parents wish to accompany their children to New Zealand to help them settle in and wish to stay with the homestay family. While this is often possible, sometimes homestay families do not have sufficient accommodation for this. It is expected that parents would stay with the family for no more than five days. Hotel/ motel bookings should be made for a longer stay. If parent accommodation is required, please note this on the application form.


Homestay Fee - Please see separate schedule of fees. Retainer if student absent on holiday NZ$100 (in December/January) Parent accommodation NZ$50 per day If you want us to find a homestay for you, please complete the Application for Homestay form and send it with your Application for Tuition.

Private arrangements

Other than homestay, the only other acceptable accommodation is with a relative or close family friend who lives in the school area or with a parent who has a guardianship visa. This must be arranged by the parents. In this case, the parents must complete the Statement of Designated Caregiver Arrangements form or the Statement of Parental Care form and submit it with the Application for Tuition.


Note: by law Howick College must visit the home to make sure the living conditions are acceptable.


We must also meet the caregiver to establish communication. The school will meet regularly with your child to make sure that the accommodation remains suitable. If Howick College offers a place to a student who will be living with a designated caregiver, those caregiver arrangements become part of the contract with the school.


If the arrangements need to change for any reason, the school must be notified prior to the change to obtain our approval. Failure to do this may be regarded as a breach of contract with the school.